Written by Michele Wheat
World AIDS Day began in 1988 in response to the devastating AIDS pandemic. Every December 1st, millions worldwide unite in the fight against HIV by raising awareness and support for those living with the disease, as well as honoring those who’ve died from an AIDS-related illness. The day is further marked with concentrated efforts in AIDS education, prevention, and control.
General Information & Statistics
While it is widely believed that HIV (i.e. Human immunodeficiency virus) originated in the 1920s, data suggests the current epidemic began in the mid-to-late 1970s. Within just a few short years, HIV likely spread across 5 continents, possibly infecting 100,000 - 300,000 people. And yet the virus causing AIDS (i.e. acquired immune deficiency syndrome) wouldn’t be identified until 1984; by that time, roughly 5,500 deaths would occur. Over the next 20 years, the mortality rate would astronomically compound itself by reaching its peak death toll of 1.7 million in 2004.
Since then, scientific advances in HIV treatment and improved regional access to anti-retroviral medication has decreased the amount of AIDS-related deaths. But with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating over 35 million lives lost globally and a cure yet to be found, there’s still a critical need to generate funds, combat stigma, increase public perception, etc. for the disease.
Cause & Awareness Facts
During the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s & 1990s, public health was presented through the lens of traditional media forms such as television, newspaper, and radio. Limited to only a handful of authoritative sources, political and personal agendas seeped in, leading to false narratives and mass hysteria. But in today’s “networked” society, the internet has democratized access to information, so civic preparedness and response to critical situations has improved vastly. It’s especially altered the way in which we communicate and interact, for social media has now given everyone a platform in which to be heard. However, despite the positive impact technology has had on humanity’s consciousness of HIV/AIDs as a whole, there are still many pockets in the world where deadly misinformation on the disease endures. This is why World AIDs Day was the first established global health day and remains one of the most important public health issues in recorded history.
While World AIDS Day is recognized on December 1st specifically, the observance aspect continues throughout the entire month. To garner further advocacy and funds for the cause, the color red was established as the ‘awareness’ color. This stems from the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus, a group of artists that sought to create a symbol visually demonstrating compassion and support for AIDS patients and caregivers. Inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers serving in the Gulf War, the organization selected the color red due to its "connection to blood and the idea of passion- not only anger but love, like a valentine." When the red ribbon was first worn by English actor and activist Jeremy Irons at the 1991 Tony Awards, the red ribbon emblem soon became the internationally-recognized symbol of AIDS awareness.
World AIDs Day Silicone Wristbands
Your lightweight, durable silicone bracelets for World AIDS Day can be customized within mere minutes direct from our website. To begin, select your preferred inscription method (printed, debossed, ink injected, color coat, embossed, embossed printed); bandwidth; band colors/patterns (solid, segmented, swirl, glow-in-the-dark); adult/youth sizes; and any add-ons like keychain conversion and individual bagging. To make your Word AIDS Day theme stand out even more, customize the bands with the font, ink color (if applicable), format, and messaging of your choice. Upload your own logos/graphics if you wish, or choose from the hundreds of clipart options we offer. From there, pick your preferred delivery date- and you’re done! If you have a design request that cannot be achieved via our online customization tool (ex: multiple ink or specific Pantone [PMS] colors, distinct bandwidth measurements, precise structuring/placement of text/artwork, etc.), no worries! Our Wristband Resources Customer Service Team is here Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm CST, and ready to assist. Call 1.888.256.0816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will take care of the rest!